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Over the last few seasons, Riccardo Tisci has printed a roaring rottweiler and a hungry shark across his clothes. This season he printed The Madonna, full of grace, blessed is she among women. Models walked through an arch of white lilies, traditionally the Virgin Mary’s flower, and the symbol of her purity. Her face, as seen in religious iconography and orthodox art was printed on black, white, pink and red T-shirts, and even onto one particularly clever shirt and tie combo where the image on the tie was exactly in line with the image on the shirt. The print called to mind that scene in The Talented Mr Ripley, where they watch the Italian ‘Festival of the Madonna’, and the Virgin Mary statue is lifted out of the water; it’s a powerful image, though peaceful, can evoke fear too. “I went back to my roots”, Tisci told i-D online backstage, “to the religious images I saw growing up in Italy. That’s the romantic part. The other part is Bauhaus, something I’m very obsessive about.” The art movement could be seen in the gold halo shapes, and in bold, graphic strips of red slapped across the printed face that dominated. Some T-shirts were made up of several layers, each bearing their own identical print, giving the effect of movement. “It’s not only the print”, Tisci said, “the clothes have to have life”. Following on from last season’s nose rings, the boys (and a couple of girls, including Stella T and Kolfinna!) wore studded bars, this time across the bridge of the nose, with red and pink jewels either side that made them look like human stained glass windows. The styling was about layering, with fine silk veils trailing under jumpers and silk bomber jackets worn over silk vests and silk trousers. Some full white looks, black looks, pastel pink looks and shy red looks punctuated the print, but the thing we will remember is the face. It’s amazing how every time, Tisci produces that incredibly strong image that defines a collection, starts a trend and becomes a badge of loyalty. He establishes an i-Dentity, and for that, we love him.
Text: Sarah Raphael
Photography: Mitchell Sams
Click here to see our SS13 Menswear coverage in full.